Odyssey House is bringing a new event to Grande Prairie aimed at empowering its residents. On October 21st, the not-for-profit organisation will be hosting its 1st annual Evening of Empowerment at the Pomeroy Hotel.
Unlike fundraisers put on in support of the women’s shelter, Executive Director Ebony Rempel says the night isn’t about bringing in donations.
“This is sort of a way that Odyssey House is working together with the community to give back to the community and to ourselves, broaden our minds and have a conversation.”
In addition to a buffet dinner and champagne reception, guests will hear from keynote speaker Rt. Hon. Kim Campbell. Campbell is Canada’s first and only female prime minister, and Rempel hopes she’ll touch on gender stereotypes and inequities through her experiences.
“It’s about really trying to look at the narrative of how we view women and how we view roles that women work. I’m hoping that people might leave with, perhaps, some language or a different way of thinking about the roles that exist within our community and how those can shift.”
As Odyssey House works towards ending violence against women, Rempel expects their audience will be largely female, but she hopes they bring their partners, friends and families along. She says they’d like to see a wide array of ages, genders and hometowns represented.
Tickets for the event cost $75 and can be purchased online. It’s expected to sell out. There is also a limited number of VIP tickets for those looking to meet Campbell.
Rempel recognizes that amount could be prohibitive for some of Odyssey House’s staff and clients, and says they will work with anyone who wants to attend. She says there will also be opportunities for some people to share their stories to showcase what the group does.
While this is the first event of its kind for Odyssey House, Rempel plans to make it an annual affair, with different speakers. She sees it as a stage for voices that may not otherwise have one in Grande Prairie.
“As soon as we start to talk about ways in which we can interrupt conversation… we already know that we don’t stand for violence against women, but when we hear that locker room joke or hear that person didn’t get chosen for that position, we don’t know what to do and we don’t know what to say.”